Yard - Designing Front vs. Designing Back
How you plan to use your space dictates how you will design the front and back of your yard. While the front yard is typically reserved for formality, the backyard tends to give off a more casual homey feel. This way, the entry area of the front yard is designed with visitors in mind and the removed area of the back yard is designed for family leisure and recreation in mind.
To begin planning a landscaping design for your front yard, try walking across the street and examining your house from afar, as strangers would see it at first glance. Consider both its appearance in relation to neighbor's homes and its curb appeal. If it is too eye catching (to the point of incongruent with the neighborhood) or not eye catching enough, here are several tips for chancing the initial impact the house has.
Second, consider access points to your house. The path to the front door should be clear and while walkways can be lined with edging plants, do not let the plants cover paths and thereby create confusion and hazard. A front walkway should also be well lit to welcome guests and deter burglars. A popular front landscape option is to include various mini garden areas that draw the eye toward and up walkways. Plants in the front yard should fill in shaded space under trees and be easy to take care of (pachysandra, for example). Pachysandras continue have a greenish hue throughout the cold winter and add live to a bleak season.
Landscaping in the backyard is typically tied into how you plan to spend leisure and entertainment time. Good lighting is essential in the back yard so as to extend play time, game time, or barbeque time. With clever lighting patterns, families and friends can enjoy their back yard comfortably and safely into the night hours. Spaces and boundaries in the landscaping design of the backyard should certainly accommodate a range of your favorite activities, from soccer to lounging to hosting a garden party.
While the polar conceptions of front and back yard design stem from the different front and back yard activity, the front should not be so formal and the back so casual as to disconnect one from the other completely. Materials used and certain aesthetics of the front yard should resonate somewhat with those in the back. Some design elements in the back yard should pick up those in the front. In short, the front and back landscape should come off as different degrees of the same theme.